Interview with Kaospilot Mads Bruun Høy from ÆRA Strategic Innovation

 

 

Hi, my name is Mads and I am 45 years old, father of two kids, married to a Norwegian half American woman.

I one of the co-founders of ÆRA, and I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, combined with my Kaospilot education. I love to cook for my family and friends, and I have an interest in wine.

 

Which team are you from and when did you graduate? 

Team 7 – 2013

 

What have you been doing since you graduated as a Kaospilot? 

I went back to my hometown in Norway to work with the mayor – on a project called the city brand of Trondheim. This project was about connecting the different interest fields around the city, mixing culture with education, culture, public services, art and all types of different domains gathered around strategy for the future.

From there i went on to work as a researcher in the University of Trondheim teaching innovation processes & management consulting in the IT sector. I moved on to working with innovation and design processes in the Scandinavian Design Group.

I ultimately ended up starting my own company with four other colleagues, including one former Kaospilot, called Æra. A company devoted to create a regenerative future through innovative business opportunities.

 

What is important for you in your job? 

People.

Finding people’s passion.. With both clients, colleagues, and co-workers.

Figuring out what they wish to achieve.

Being with my kids and realizing that I moved their world in a better direction. Knowing that everyday is important for the future of my children.

Leaving a legacy for the next generation and leaving the planet in a better state.

 

 

What major learnings would you point out from your experience that have shaped you as a leader? 

I was inspired by a researcher at my university back when I was studying psychology. He taught me how to be confident in understanding people. Meeting people are inherently different from yourself (flag’s program). This robust and confident psychologist was in many ways a father figure of mine. I was only 27 when we started the company, so he has meant a lot every step of my entrepreneurial way, and still does.

 

What is your biggest source for inspiration right now? 

Food. Connecting with food and remembering where the produce comes from. I am conscious of avoiding artificial foods, and strive to always returning to the natural way of cooking.

Nature is also a source of inspiration – getting out, climbing mountains, hiking, skiing – these activities are all increasingly important to me.

And again: people!

 

What is a piece of advice that you would like to give future Kaospilot graduates? 

Be curious – acknowledge that the most important thing you learn as a Kaospilot is the ability to always be learning – and to not become arrogant thinking you have all the answers. Be curious towards what other people can and do, and what they would like to bring into the campfire.

Some people carry the fuel for the campfire, and ome bring wood, some bring stories, some create good energy, some people ask questions. Be curious about all these roles.

Choose the things that matters for society and for the planet. I wish and hope for the Kaospilot to be a place where big and important societal challenges are solved. I see that as a highly realistic possibility.

 

If you were to go back to the Kaospilot again – what would you do different.  

What I regret the most was to never connect with other students in Århus. That we didn’t hang out more with the architects and people of other programs at the University. We were so pre-occupied with ourselves we failed to seek out the many different environments around us.

And read more to gain new perspectives.

 

What is a moment that stands out for you from your journey at the Kaospilot?  

I was lucky to go to Copenhagen with Uffe Elbæk (former Kaospilot principal) for an event he was speaking at. He put me at the table with the editor of a highly regarded newspaper, and while seated, Uffe kept pointing to and asking me of my opinion on all of these substantial subjects that we were discussing around the table. That taught me something about how to build confidence in young people. Uffe was always interested in discussing and hearing what young people had to stay, and promoted their opinions above many others.

 

 

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